Why you want to know Mike Massey: For three years, Mike Massey has led the Frassati Society of Young Adult Catholics at St. Joseph Church in Conway. About 19 young adults, ages 18 to 39, attend the weekly meetings regularly, which include a meal and Bible study or discussions on Church teachings as well as monthly social events. He converted to Catholicism in college and worked as a youth minister for a few years at St. Edward Church in Little Rock. He met Bishop J. Peter Sartain, now archbishop of Seattle, who told him, “I want you to start a Frassati group in Arkansas” and had even brought Massey a Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati medal from Rome. Years later, he’s now following that request. He works as an electrical engineer for Garver in North Little Rock.
Name: Michael Blaine “Mike” Massey
Parish: St. Joseph
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Grow in your Family of Faith.” What are some ways you learn about Jesus and Church teachings?
The Guardian bookstore in Little Rock sold a book about common misunderstandings of the Catholic Church. It was topical. Whatever topic came to mind I’d read about it and learn about it. Books that are basically apologetics have always been big for me; I’ve got quite a collection at home. Reading the lives of the saints has been huge.
Explain what you do in Frassati?
Frassati has three parts — it’s community, we have dinner together, it’s a social time, we experience community ... at that meal. It’s also catechesis. Right now we’re doing a Catholic study from formed.org called, “Symbolon.” … We’re also service. We will regularly serve a meal at Bethlehem House for the homeless; we go to the nursing homes at Christmas.
What do you enjoy most about Frassati?
I think the thing I like most about it is I can see the young adults that come, they’re getting something from it. They’re being fed and not just from a meal, but they’re learning something and enjoy being with each other. I think that’s what God wants for his Church. Young adults need to feel at home at church, not just at Mass.
How do you relate to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati?
I would say since I was in college I was back and forth about maybe God was wanting me to be a priest, but I love engineering and I have a talent for engineering … that’s when I joined the seminary, but I wasn’t happy. I love God and the Church, but I felt constantly at a struggle … Where this ties into Frassati as well, Frassati was a very faithful Catholic and people were encouraging him to be a priest, but he felt he could reach more people as a layperson and his chosen field was engineering. … One day the light went off. I can still be an engineer and do ministry. I’m happy and found the balance.
Do you have a favorite prayer or Scripture verse?
Sometimes when I’m in adoration the one that comes to mind, is “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
What is your favorite hobby?
I love the outdoors, I love hiking, I love our state parks. There are 52 and I’ve been to every single one of them … It’s my way of experiencing God’s creation.
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